On Wednesday, January 24, 2024, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline filed a formal statement of charges against Clark County District Court Judge Erika Ballou. The charges center around two separate social media posts from Judge Ballou that the commission believes violated judicial conduct rules.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Judge Erika Ballou,” with case number 2022-173-P.
The first social media post was made on Judge Ballou’s Instagram account in September 2021. The post included a selfie photo of Judge Ballou with a caption referring to an upcoming concert. It also included hashtags, “Vacatethe[Explitive]OuttaOutofCustodyCases” and “WhereInTheWorldisCarmenSanDiego.” The commission alleged this post violated rules requiring a judge to maintain public confidence and avoid any appearance of impropriety or lack of impartiality.
The second social media post cited was a photo posted to Facebook in April 2022. This photo showed Judge Ballou in a hot tub with two public defenders from the Clark County Public Defender’s Office, Shana Brouwers and Robson Hauser. Judge Ballou’s caption referred to “great tits”, which the commission alleged demonstrated a violation of rules regarding maintaining independence, integrity, and impartiality.
The formal charges assert Judge Ballou violated provisions requiring her to prioritize her judicial duties over personal activities, remain impartial, and uphold public confidence in an unbiased judiciary. A hearing on the ethics charges has not been scheduled yet.
Judge Ballou was sworn in as a Clark County district court judge in January 2021. She has faced previous criticism, including calls in 2022 for her resignation over remarks made about police officers in a courtroom. Before becoming a judge, Ballou worked as a public defender and was involved in social justice causes.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.